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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, 2016 MLS Draft, and USMNT news for Wednesday January 13, 2016

We start at with bad news, and then move on from there. Happy Wednesday?

My computer is still broken, and with the draft being this week it is probably one of the three or four worst weeks for this to happen. I feel like this almost all the time.

Let's talk soccer links!

Bill Hamid withdraws from USMNT camp with knee injury | Black and Red United
I'm sorry for immediately plunging you into the pit of despair. My useless, broken computer is here to entertain us.

As for the news: Don't hit the panic button just yet. But, you know, maybe start inching your hand that way.

D.C. United’s Bill Hamid withdraws from U.S. training camp with knee injury | Washington Post
More on the injury from Steve Goff, who uses words like "upbeat," "minor," and the phrase "several weeks" here. So that's good for the MLS season at least, but it still doesn't bode well for United's trip to Queretaro in 41 days.

MLS Mock Draft 2016: Defenders a hot commodity in first two rounds |
We already talked about why our pick in the mock draft was Fabian Herbers, but here's the thought process behind all 41 picks.

Sebastian Saucedo going on loan to Liga MX side Veracruz | RSL Soapbox
RSL's promising teenage attacker Sebastian Saucedo is going to Liga MX on loan, and apparently with Veracruz holding an option to buy. And yet, somehow, RSL will probably dodge the "(team) doesn't play their kids" #narrative that other teams are subject to. Don't look now, but this is a team whose core players - Nick Rimando, Jamison Olave, Kyle Beckerman, and Javier Morales - are well into their 30s. Joao Plata is the only likely starter under 25.

Why RSL lost out on signature of Colombian center back Oswaldo Henriquez | RSL Soapbox
Staying in Utah, here's a problem that has hit many MLS clubs: You identify a good player, you make what for MLS is a very generous offer, and then some foreign club saunters in late with a salary package that you can't possibly match due to the cap.

Interesting side note: Looking through old notes, I found that the Revs had Henriquez on trial back in 2011, but that things fizzled out for whatever reason.

Fire looking to deal on draft day | Chicago Fire Confidential
Guillermo Rivera with a report of potential draft day intrigue, mostly based around Chicago's evaluation that Josh Yaro has to be converted to right back.

Let me be clear on this: That last bit is a big mistake. Yaro is a center back. Yes, he's only 5'10", but he can jump so high that his size isn't really the issue people make it out to be. The reason he's so highly touted is because of how good of a center back he is. If this is the direction the Fire are going to take under Nelson Rodriguez, the Eastern Conference is probably a 9 team competition for 6 playoff spots for the foreseeable future. I'm willing to cut new coach Veljko Paunovic some slack here, as he was probably not watching NCAA soccer while sorting out his future this fall.

Chicago Fire target coveted European centerback | Hot Time in Old Town
Speaking of Rodriguez and the Fire, their new GM had a lot to say yesterday. Chicago is close to deals with 2 MLS free agents and a center back from Europe. They also say they're going after a second center back with a much higher profile. With Yaro available, they'd have to have a ton of faith in these signings being good players for a team that needs to add like 6-7 defenders just to have enough for a typical MLS roster (much less actually any good). This might be "Bold move, Cotton" territory.

It's Official: Portland Timbers Sign Ned Grabavoy | Stumptown Footy
Grabavoy is in his 30s, but this is a good signing for their style of play. Portland is not resting on their laurels.

Wallace Rebuffs Timbers’ Contract Offer; Looks Overseas | Stumptown Footy
On the other hand, our old friend Rodney Wallace appears to be headed abroad.

Roadblocks remain in Alan Pulido's move to Colorado Rapids - sources | ESPNFC
Jeff Carlisle does a good job explaining the strange story of Alan Pulido, who may suit up for the Rapids if a dispute between the player, 2 Mexican clubs, a Greek club, FIFA, and the Court for Arbitration for Sport can be sorted out. In my book, it's an awful lot of trouble for a player who hasn't made any on-field impact for about 2 years now.

Official: Union acquire Walter Restrepo | The Brotherly Game
The Union have filled out their group of wingers with Colombian-American Walter Restrepo, who has been among the NASL's best attacking players over the past few seasons. Defensive midfielder (and NoVa product) Michael Lahoud will head the other way on a full-season loan as part of the deal.

Stuart Holden joins U.S. training camp amid recovery from injuries | ESPNFC
Former USMNT midfielder Stu Holden has been through hell trying to get back on the field from his multiple knee and leg injuries over the past half-decade. Hopefully he can get through camp unscathed and finally be healthy enough to resume a promising career. Also: This piece has a cameo appearance from Steve Birnbaum.

U.S. Soccer to Host SheBelieves Cup Featuring USA, England, France and Germany |
The USSF has decided they can hold their own tournament rather than attend the Algarve Cup in Portugal. They certainly did nab some top teams to fill out the field. Games will take place in Tampa, Boca Raton, and Nashville in early March, and all 3 USWNT games have TV/streaming video ready to go.

The draft is under 30 hours. My advice for those attending: Bring snacks. Charge your phone. Don't drink on Pratt St., it is for tourists. Don't drink at any of the bars at Power Plant, as they are all for dopes and bros.